It was a special day celebrating the achievements of the Raleigh volunteers and community members. They have accomplished building a two-storey building with a homestay and tandas. The building will be a key part of the village where young children will come to receive an education. The day was led by Madame Lavissa and Madame Josephine, two members of the community who have supported the volunteers throughout.
Gurpreet, a VM who has spent the entirety of the expedition in the kampung cut the ribbon with Anne Lasimbang from Pacos.
Christine Gentles, Country Operations Manager for Raleigh Borneo said ‘Expedition is a chance for young people to learn from each other and to share their knowledge, experiences and cultures. We want young people both from here and other countries to have an experience in Sabah that will leave them with broader horizons, and open minds and hearts.’
She later said, ‘Over the past nine weeks, with the help of local villagers, Alpha 2 have built a Community Learning Centre. Community facilities such as this one, can be the cornerstone of a self-sufficient and vibrant community. The work completed here will ensure that this village has access to a safe environment in which both children and adults can learn and a space for this community to come together.’
Linus, the head of the village then spoke, ‘You are have given a great contribution to this building. Thank you to all the Raleigh volunteers from phase 1, 2 and 3, you have all been working very hard to complete the CLC. We hope that children and adults will be able to learn here. It will make a huge difference to the lives of the children and the community.’
This was followed by Anne Lasimbang, Director of the Pacos Trust, ‘The villagers have been asking for 10 years for this building and we are happy to have finally had the opportunity to build it. From our experience of working with Raleigh volunteers, it’s not just the building that you will leave with. It’s the confidence and the interaction of working and living in a community. The building will always be here, and they will always talk about you. Thank you too all the volunteers, you have done a fantastic job.’
The venturers and VMs then spoke about their experiences in Kibunut and shared a song titled ‘We built a CLC’.
‘We’ve really enjoyed working together with the villagers of Kibunut and to see the progress of the CLC every day.’ Rosie
‘We would like to thank you all for being so welcoming in your community – with your amazing food, stories and karaoke.’ Suzanne
‘Whether it’s being digging the foundations, mixing cement or building walls, it’s been hard work, but we’ve had lots of fun and it’s also been rewarding.’ Nick, one of the VMs
Thank you to all our volunteers who have worked so hard and truly implemented sustainable lasting change to the community of Kibunut. Thank you to PACOS Trust for your support in enabling us to achieve such an important project. Thank you also to Fondation Les Paquerettes for your sponsorship.
Words by Florence and photos by Larysa